integrated CA based systems and family farms
Food sovereignty is the right of people to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.- Declaration of Nyeleni, the first global forum on food sovereignty, Mali, 2007.
Focuses on food for people: The right to food which is healthy and culturally appropriate is the basic legal demand underpinning food sovereignty. Guaranteeing it requires policies which support diversified food production in each region and country. Food is not simply another commodity to be traded or speculated on for profit.
Values food providers: Many smallholder farmers suffer violence, marginalization and racism from corporate landowners and governments. People are often pushed off their land by mining concerns or agribusiness. Agricultural workers can face severe exploita-tion and even bonded labour. Although women produce most of the food in the global south, their role and knowledge are often ignored, and their rights to resources and as workers are violated. Food sovereignty asserts food providers' right to live and work in dignity.
Localizes food systems: Food must be seen primarily as sustenance for the community and only secondarily as something to be traded. Under food sovereignty, local and regional provision takes precedence over supplying distant markets, and export-orientated agriculture is rejected.
Puts control locally: Food sovereignty places control over territory, land, grazing, water, seeds, livestock and fish populations on local food providers and respects their rights. They can use and share them in socially and environmentally sustainable ways which conserve diversity. Privatization of such resources, for example through intellectual property rights regimes or commercial contracts, is explicitly rejected.
Food Sovereignty Builds Knowledge and Skills: Food sovereignty builds on the skills and local knowledge of food providers and their local organizations that conserve, develop and manage localized food production and harvesting systems, developing appropriate research systems to support this and passing on this wisdom to future generations; and rejects technologies that undermine, threaten or contaminate these, e.g. genetic engineering.
Food Sovereignty Works with Nature: Food sovereignty uses the contributions of nature in diverse, low external input agro-ecological production and harvesting methods that maximize the contribution of ecosystems and improve resilience and adaptation, especially in the face of climate change; it seeks to "heal the planet so that the planet may heal us" and rejects methods that harm beneficial ecosystem functions, that depend on energy intensive mono-cultures and livestock factories, destructive fishing practices and other industrialized production methods, which damage the environment and contribute to global warming.